Friday April 21, 2017

Gearing up for Summer Abroad Experiences

With warmer days starting to appear, signs of summer are fast approaching. Summer brings a new experience and opportunity for a group of students and faculty at the University of Dayton (UD) who will participate in the Summer Faculty-led Programs through the Education Abroad Office. Over 300 students and more than 45 faculty and staff will depart on an education abroad or immersion trip throughout the world.

Faculty-led programs have existed at UD for decades, providing an opportunity for students to study abroad during the summer while also maintaining any semester academic commitments here in Dayton. Most of the trips range from 4-5 weeks, giving the students just enough time to have a rich cultural experience in another country. These programs offer students the chance to earn UD credits towards their majors or CAP requirements, through courses taught by UD faculty while abroad. Student prepare for the trips in the spring semester by taking a pre-departure course designed to build community, educate them on intercultural experiences, gain health and safety knowledge and complete travel logistics. Ideally, any student from any major can go abroad in the summer, because of the diverse course offerings. And while the programs offer many advantages for the students, they also offer opportunities for faculty to expand their own experiences as well. In Summer 2017, it will be the first time leading an educational experience abroad for almost one-third of the participating faculty.

Kelly Trail, Assistant Director of Education Abroad, shared “for faculty, it can help them integrate an international or intercultural perspective into their courses and curriculum back on campus. It also allows them to connect with students on a different level, being with them extensively for weeks at a time. We also hope it allows them the opportunity to engage with faculty from across different departments and units.”

One new addition to the program offerings this summer is a new location for the Spanish language immersion trip, Peru. Starting this year, the program will alternate each year between Peru and Spain as options for the summer experience. Another new addition is the Health and Sport Sciences program in Chile, allowing students to examine these fields in a new context.

Faculty who are interested in teaching for upcoming program summer 2019 programs should look for an email in winter, and students can apply as early as the first day of classes in the fall. The application deadline is February 1, but some programs fill up very quickly. Kelly shared, “the Business in Spain program closed in October, but there's still lots of options for students.“ 

In addition to the faculty-led programs, other groups will be departing on a variety of cultural and service immersion experiences. Some will travel through the Center for Social Concern, the Malawi practicum, ETHOS (Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service learning) program, Chaminade Scholars, programs at University of Dayton’s China Institute and more. Each of these programs offer students a chance to think about their work and service in deeper ways.  

UD has committed to increasing the number of students going abroad each year, with the goal of 1,000 students a year by 2020. In order to assist more students in gaining this opportunity, the university has also committed to awarding significant scholarship funding. This year, over $25,000 was awarded to students, and this amount will continue to increase. 

For more information on all of the experiences happening this summer, visit udayton.edu/edabroad.  

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